Two Poems by Leisha Douglas


Dogwood buds like tiny fists defy
gray skies and leafless trees.
Amid the pallor of necessary fire,
I wait curled inside myself.
Though white ice patches the lake,
this shortest day whispers warmth.
A friend praises winter’s subtle hues,
finds beauty in the waning.
If I followed her example,
I may not fear those moments
when your history comes undone.


When my stepfather was dying,
the nurse told me he could still hear
though his other senses were gone.
She encouraged me to speak to him.
I transcended my hatred
and left him with innocuous words.
“Let go…I can take care of Mom.”
(although I seriously doubted that I could
given her penchant for vodka and cigarettes)

A client bemoans her grandfather’s passing.
What she misses most is his voice.
I know what she means.
I can’t recall my father’s voice.
I’m surprised I couldn’t hold it.
His voice not an old melody that once resurrected
I can’t stop humming.

Memory, so deficient, retains only fragments
and even those distort with time.
His smell, the graphic of his hands slipped away
yet something like sound hangs in the air.

About the author:

As a professional psychotherapist and part-time yoga teacher, Leisha feels blessed to have satisfying work and time to write as well. From 2001 to 2010, Leisha codirected the Katonah Poetry Series with former Poet Laureate Billy Collins and currently serves as poetry consultant to the series committee. Her chapbook, The Season of Drunken Bees, received special mention in The Comstock Review’s Niles 2009 Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared in The Alembic, Corium Magazine, The Cortland Review, decomP, Forge, Front Porch, Ghoti, Ginbender Poetry Review, Hakomi Forum, Helix, The Minetta Review, Peregrine and Sanskrit.